New City Stage Company concludes their fifth season with the Philadelphia professional premier of Marsha Norman's heartbreaking socio-tragedy ‘Night Mother. This penetrating and poignant play will close July 3, 2011. Performances will be held at the Second Stage of the Adrienne Theater on 2030 Sansom Street. Tickets cost $18 - $24. Subscription and single ticket information is available at www.NewCityStage.org and by calling 215-563-7500.
This season which we've christened No Way Out deals with a deeply important topic, suicide amongst women. The odd and hilariously skewed view of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon was followed by the even darker comedic sensibility of Philadelphia's own Nicky Silver in Pterodactyls. And now our season concludes with Marsha Norman's powerful and uncompromising ‘Night Mother.
Written in 1981, it is Marsha Norman's fifth play and was first produced for the stage in 1983. Among the many honors bestowed on the piece were the Pulitzer Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.
Lauded for its emotional honesty and realistic dialogue, ‘Night Mother charts the final desperate hour of a mother daughter relationship so consumed with emptiness and ennui that one of them can no longer tolerate living. The play's unflinching lack of sentimentality is what drew New City Stage artistic director Ginger Dayle to choosing this moving and highly intelligent piece to end the season.
"The data that inspired our season actually pinpointed unusually high suicide rates among Caucasian women in the city of Philadelphia. But when the time came to cast this play it seemed wrong to be exclusive when there was so much anecdotal evidence that the economic, social and familial issues at the heart of this matter affect so many women in this city, " according to Dayle. A recent survey also revealed that nearly 30 percent of New City's audience base is African-American, and the company decided that this audience needed to be served by us. "We began thinking very seriously about non-traditional casting and found great enthusiasm in the theatre community," says Dayle.
However, finding the right chemistry in an artistic team that could approach the material with sensitivity and fortitude was not an easy task. Bringing these harrowing moments to life requires a pair of actresses capable of penetrating introspection, genuine warmth and shattering emotionalism. New City is pleased to announce our talented and acclaimed cast.
Starring as daughter Jessie is Wendy Staton, one of the most exciting talents to come on to the Philadelphia scene in recent years. She blew the roof off the building with her unforgettable portrayal of Jesus Christ in this season's holiday hit Miss Witherspoon. Wendy was also in the 2010 Fringe hit Between Trains with Gas and Electric Arts, and heard in Swim Pony's Survive.